Tag Archives: Born To Run

August Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

26 Aug

HOT DOG DAYS OF AUGUST

Weather.Aug2016.cruse.png

 

 

How hot is it? Real Feel: 118 degrees – wow! … This has been one hot summer for most everyone everywhere. Hope you (and your dogs) are keeping cool wherever you are … Prediction: There will be snow soon enough!

 

THE BOSS TELLS HIS STORY

BruceBornToRunBook.aug2016

 

 

“I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud. So am I. By 20, no race-car-driving rebel, I was a guitar player on the streets of Asbury Park … But I held four clean aces. I had youth, almost a decade of hard-core bar band experience, a good group of homegrown musicians who were attuned to my performance style and a story to tell.” … From the forward to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run, to be released in September.

 

SO HOW’D YA WRITE THAT SONG?

RobertPlant.aug2016

 

Many were mollified at the unquestionably correct verdict that, no, Led Zeppelin did not steal a lesser known band’s music for their not derived, resplendent, iconic Stairway to Heaven Robert Plant testified in court on the song’s origins: “…I sat with Jimmy by the fire, and he began playing. And I had this little couplet lyrically that, if you like, in tempo, fitted into what he was playing. So I just started developing that into two lines, then four lines, and then on, slowly, opening it up…‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven. And when she gets there she knows that the stores are all closed; with a word she can get what she came for.’…I was really trying to bring in that aspect of Welsh, the beauty and the remoteness of the pastoral Britain…Meanwhile, the guys were working on opening up the song and its transition into something that was really flowering and it was quite a thing as we moved on through the song, to open it up and to turn around various parts of it and see it develop into something I couldn’t even imagine.” … Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that’s how they wrote that song.

 

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’!

Tchaikovsky.aug2016

 

 

The Nutcracker. Swan Lake. 1812 Overture. The celebrated Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) believed that one must keep working and working, just keep at it, and inspiration will happen … “We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavoring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination” … Two centuries later, producer, songwriter, and lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes, Jack White echoes Tchaikovsky’s ideal … “Inspiration and work ethic — they ride right next to each other…Not every day you’re gonna wake up and the clouds are gonna part and rays from heaven are gonna come down and you’re gonna write a song from it. Sometimes, you just get in there and just force yourself to work, and maybe something good will come out.”

 

PEPSI-COLA HITS THE SPOT

PepsiColaSign.aug2016.day.2

 

 

The distinctive Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City, Queens, that faces the East River and Manhattan, is now an official New York City landmark. Its bright red swirly lettering has long been a welcoming beacon on the waterfront. Crowning Pepsi’s bottling plant at this site in 1940, its reconstruction in 1993 was faithful to the original sign. The 50-foot painted Pepsi bottle was probably replaced in the 1970s with an updated bottle design. Serving as a longstanding and well-known branding symbol, this sure is a testament to the power of a great marketing imprint.

 

READY FOR LIFT-OFF

MetChandelier.aug2016

 

 

Another should be New York City landmark are the Metropolitan Opera’s spacey chandeliers. Who doesn’t ooh and aah as the world-famous show before the show starring 12 radiant starbursts begin their ascendency as the lights fade? A gift made by the Austrian government to thank the US for its help after WWII, it was a shining symbol of the friendship between Austria and the US. Fondly named sputniks, their design was inspired by the post-war era’s International Space Race and the Big Bang. And now they have been mechanically overhauled, outdated equipment for raising and lowering them updated. Let the oohing and aahing begin!

 

YOU MAY SAY HE’S A DREAMER

JohnLennonVsUSABook.aug2016

 

 

“Let’s see, I think it was Jack Lemmon and Yoko Moto,” said Leon Wildes when asked the names of his new clients. With immigration and deportation hot-button issues in this election year, how timely and informative this new book is about John Lennon’s four-year battle to stay in the US. Wildes was John and Yoko’s lawyer, an expert on immigration law. Insights abound. We see that the debate about discretionary targeting of political protestors was as relevant then as it is now. Richard Nixon may have wanted John banished but, as Wildes states, “Thanks to [Lennon’s] willingness to fight, we managed to discover and helped create a remedy for impossible cases.” Funny how John’s 1972 deportation case with its societal significance and legal impact, is as essential a lasting legacy as is the extraordinary music he left us.

 

…AND SPEAKING OF JOHN’S MUSIC

BeatBugs.aug2016

 

 

Netflix’s new animated series, Beat Bugs, tells stories through Beatles songs, teaching kids life lessons while turning them on to great music! About a quintet of kid characters and their insect friends, Eddie Vedder performs as Jasper, a grasshopper who takes the insects on a Magical Mystery Tour. Pink sings Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as Lucy the dragonfly, and yes, she has kaleidoscope eyes. James Corden sings I’m A Loser and Sia covers Blackbird. All You Need is Love is the theme song. Animated bugs singing Beatles songs? I’m taking that Ticket to Ride!

 

RIP, MENTSCH

StevenHill.aug2016

 

 

Law & Order is just a fact of life. It permeates countless homes. Who doesn’t love feeling the palliative power of watching L&O reruns over and over again? Switching channels, we are compelled to stop when there’s an episode airing. We know the words, we know whodunnit, we know the wisecracks. Especially those pithy gems spoken by Manhattan DA Adam Schiff, Steven Hill’s character. Hill even studied the law to make his character more convincing. Born Solomon Krakovsky to Russian Jewish immigrants, he passed away August 23. A devoted Orthodox Jew, he did not work on Shabbos, which was written into all his contracts. And when Hill resigned after a decade on L&O, in the show Adam Schiff resigned to work with a Holocaust organization. Oh, and he played the rabbi in Yentl. I admired him. A great actor who stayed true to his faith, Steven Hill had a deep sense of his own purpose and a heartfelt compassion which he exuded in every one of his roles. “Take the deal.”

 

I LOVE MY DOG

CatStevens.ILoveMyDog

I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through.

All he asks from me is the food to give him strength
All he ever needs is love and that he knows he’ll get.

All the pay I need comes shining through his eyes
I don’t need no cold water to make me realize that.

 

It is the 50th anniversary of Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ first hit single release, I Love My Dog in 1966. That was followed by The First Cut Is The Deepest, Wild World, Hard Headed Woman, Where Do the Children Play?, Father & Son, Morning Has Broken, Peace Train, and Moonshadow. Did you forget he wrote all those great songs? He’s on tour to celebrate his 50th anniversary as an artist – even playing New York City for the first time since 1976! Through his charity, Small Kindness, a portion of every ticket goes to UNICEF and International Rescue Committee to help children affected by the current refugee crisis. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, his most recent albums (2006’s An Other Cup is excellent!) are as notable as his early ones we cherish.

 

I LOVE MY RESCUE DOG

RescueDog.aug2016

So there’s this cartoon about the wonders of rescuing a dog. If you’ve ever adopted a dog, you will relate to comic artist Bird Born’s simple yet right-on telling of how he welcomed home his new friend. Remember, we never know where they are from, what kind of damage has been inflicted on them, nor are we ever assured that they’ll forget their history. But, we can shower them with loads and loads of love, make them feel safe, and show them the world will be a better place for them. Born’s experience in We’ve Taken A Dog From An Animal Shelter is a mirror of our experience, too. It’s the story of fear turning into owning the couch, the bed, the easy chair, well, you know the rest.

 

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.ASPCA-LAFlood.aug2016

 

 

The ASPCA has dispatched its Disaster Response Team to Louisiana to conduct water rescues for animals displaced by the area’s devastating floods resulting from three days of torrential rain. Donations will help the ASPCA “give people peace of mind while they cope with this crisis by making sure their pets are safe.”

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.JoshuaTree.aug2016.cr

U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

 

One can relate to this gospel-influenced anthem from U2, especially heading into fall’s new beginnings. This is critic Jeff Jensen’s description: “[It] is my bridge over troubled water, a psalm of reorientation in times of disorientation. It embraces hopeful paradoxes: that doubt and faith are compatible, that certainty doesn’t preclude a constant search for truth … a bittersweet hymn that calls me to look up when I’m down and keep clear-eyed when I’m fogged.”

 

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.

I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

 

 

 

Who rescued whom?

Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016

At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Bruce quote: Bruce Springsteen official website brucespringsteen.net
Robert Plant trial pic: Mona Shafer Edwards
Robert Plant quote: Rolling Stone, August 16, 2016
Tchaikovsky quote: Life and Letters of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky by Modeste Tchaikovsky (University Press of the Pacific 2004)
Jack White quote: from the documentary, Under Great White Northern Lights
Leon Wildes quotes: John Lennon vs. The U.S.A.: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History (American Bar Association, August 2016)
Beat Bugs pic: Netflix
I Love My Dog lyrics: Cat Stevens ©Universal Music Publishing Group
Soundtrack quote: Jeff Jensen/Entertainment Weekly August 12, 2016
U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For lyrics: Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Larry Mullen, Paul David Hewson, Victor Reina ©Universal Music Publishing Group

 

August Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Aug

AUGUST’S RAP-UP

StraightOuttaCompton.August2015

“Whether it was money, gangbanging, crack, LAPD and eventually AIDS — everything in the world came down on this group. What did we combat all that with? We had music. We had lyrics. We had hip-hop.” (Ice Cube)

You’d think the film Straight Outta Compton was based on today’s headlines. But it started in the 1980’s when five friends in Compton, CA, a city in south-central L.A. with drugs, crime, street gangs, and a high murder rate, formed a group and told their story. This biopic about the groundbreaking hip-hop group N.W.A. (original members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube are producers) beat all expectations, debuting at #1 … Their debut album of the same name marked the beginning of gangsta rap, hitting at real-life issues – racial profiling and police brutality. Rolling Stone cited the album as one of hip-hop’s most crucial albums, calling it a “bombastic, cacophonous car ride through Los Angeles’ burnt-out and ignored hoods.”  … With funky, bass-driven beats and explicit controversial lyrics, they left a lasting legacy on hip-hop music. The stories they were telling in the album were relevant then and resonate still – in this new film as well as in tonight’s evening news.

Hamilton.August2015.plain

And hip-hop made it to Broadway, too. Hamilton, opening to record-breaking advance sales, is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Real history with a real hip-hop score. Sure, it’s about the birth of our nation. But its world of politics with rivalries, self-interest, integrity, even a sex scandal, mirrors our own state of the union, centuries later. Another example of hip-hop storytelling that’s historically significant yet pertinent today.

THE BEATLES PLAY NEW YORK!

Did you have one of these?BeatlesShea.August2015.ticket

BeatlesShea.August2015August 15 marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles concert at Shea Stadium. In front of 55,000 screaming fans, the largest crowd in music history at the time, they were introduced by Ed Sullivan: “…honored by their country, decorated by their Queen, and loved here in America, here are the Beatles.” Then they ran on stage to open the concert with Twist and Shout.

HAVING SURGERY? BRING FLOYD!DarkSideOfMoon.August2015

A good song makes us feel better, right? According to new research, patients who listened to music were less anxious after surgery and needed less pain relief. In fact the lead author, Dr. Catherine Meads, said Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon helped soothe her pain after hip surgery … Dr. Hazim Sadideen from University Hospitals Birmingham also researched the role of music, “Undertaking both minor and major surgery can induce stress. Music can be used…to improve the patient journey…” … So doctor, what do the tests show? Listening to music before, during, and after an operation can help reduce pain. That’s a relief … And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear, You shout and no one seems to hear, And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes, I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”

BABY WE WERE BORN TO RUNBornToRun.ColumbiaRecordsAd.1975

“The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves, like a vision she dances across the porch, as the radio plays…” … So starts Born To Run, August 25 marking 40 years it hit record stores. This is the original Columbia Records ad. Special place in my heart, my record company (CBS Records) and recording studio (Record Plant) alma maters. One happy tramp.

DOG NEWSStraightOuttaCompton.Westieland.8.9.15

Turns out, August 15 is an auspicious date. It also marked Clear the Shelters day. About 7.6 million animals enter shelters across the country each year, 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats, according to the ASPCA. Waiving most or all adoption fees, 400 animal shelters nationwide took part in the one-day event. An initiative by NBC-TV stations to help get cats and dogs waiting for new homes successfully adopted, the result? Over 19,000 adoptions and still counting! Westie Rescue Barkley straight out approves.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.USWarDogs.August2015Let’s show our love and appreciation for the military working dogs, who are highly trained to work side by side with their handlers in war zones as trackers or sentries, in search and rescue, and explosive detection. The U.S. War Dog Association has been sending care packages to military dogs all over the world, all year round, since 2003. You can send specific items needed by the dogs, such as cooling vests and mats, nail clippers, brushes, combs, Kongs and other heavy duty chew toys, doggles, collapsible nylon dog water bowls, and dog shampoo and treats (made in the USA only). Or you may make a financial contribution.

 

Soundtrack to this IssueSoundtrack.NWA.August2015

NWA’s Express Yourself
From Straight Outta Compton (Priority/Ruthless 1988)

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

I’m expressin’ with my full capabilities,
And now I’m livin’ in correctional facilities,
Cause some don’t agree with how I do this.

I get straight, meditate like a Buddhist,
I’m droppin’ flava, my behavior is hereditary,
But my technique is very necessary.

Blame it on Ice Cube…
Because he says it gets funky
When you got a subject and a predicate.
Add it on a dope beat
And that’ll make you think.

Express yourself…
Express yourself…
Come on and do it…

 

Who rescued whom????????????????????????????????

So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lIMGP2541.cr.newsltr

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Ice Cube quote: LA Times, Lorraine Ali, July 30, 2015
Straight Outta Compton album review: Jon Caramanica, Rolling Stone, September 30, 2002
Beatles at Shea pic: Copyright holder unknown. (Beatles Rarities)
Music and surgery quotes: Brunel University and Queen Mary University of London music during surgery study
Brain Damage lyrics: Roger Waters ©Roger Waters Music Overseas Ltd., TRO-Hampshire House Publishing (Dark Side of the Moon, EMI 1973)
Born To Run ad: Sony Legacy Records
Thunder Road lyrics: Bruce Springsteen ©1975 Laurel Canyon Music Ltd.
Adoption results: Clear The Shelters
We Can Help pic: The U.S. War Dog Association, Inc.
Express Yourself lyrics: O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Charles W. Wright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

December Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

30 Dec

DECEMBER = INSPIRATION + HOPE

A heartfelt thank you for your friendship, partnership, and support. I Dec13.inspireMugappreciate our connection. There was meaningful conversation and helpful advice. Changes, too. Which led to adapting. Which led to even more changes. Such is the cycle of our lives. I look forward to learning even more from you and sharing more news and ideas with you in 2014. Let’s continue to inspire each other!

INSPIRING MUSIC…

Always inspiring, Handel’s Messiah at the NY Philharmonic. Making his NY Phil debut, Maestro Andrew Manze, with the Westminster Dec13.HandelsMessiahSymphonic Choir. And oh yes, everyone stood at Hallelujah. The soprano’s Air from Romans spoke to the season of hope: “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”…Bruce Springsteen brought us High Hopes, from his new album due January 14…And his Born to Run handwritten lyrics sold for $197,000 at auction…But wait, at the same auction, Yoko Ono’s typed manuscript (with handwritten notes) of her 1964 book, Grapefruit, sold for $485,000…Beyoncé out with a new marketing strategy, I mean no marketing strategy, no, I mean a new album – announced solely on Instagram – 14 songs, 17 videos, zero promotion. Social media + digital music distribution = a new way to do it…SeaWorld in Orlando saw concert cancellations by Willie Nelson, REO Speedwagon, Martina McBride, and Cheap Trick, over keeping whales in captivity…Remember Boston? Now it’s mostly Tom Scholz, an original techie, playing all the instruments on Life, Love and Hope. There’s a title with more than a feelingKennedy Center honorees included Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Martina Arroyo, and Carlos Santana…Speaking of. A NY institution merged with another NY institution: Billy Joel is Madison Square Garden’s first entertainment franchise. Hey, maybe some of his homegrown NY spirit will rub off on their Knicks franchise…New Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are KISS, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, and Linda Ronstadt. Also, the E Street Band, Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham. Very cool list…Neil Young’s new release is really an old one from a 1970 solo acoustic tour, Live at the Cellar DoorDec13.Peter&TheWolfProkofiev’s enduring Peter & the Wolf, this one narrated, designed, and directed by the inspiring Isaac Mizrahi, set in Central Park, with the Juilliard Ensemble, and presented at the Guggenheim, a true NY holiday tradition…And Maestro Gilbert offers another NY tradition, the NY Phil’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, with classical comedy music duo, Igudesman & Joo. Bringing in the new year with laughter and music. Sounds perfect.

WHAT’S UP, DOCS? MUSIC!

HBO’s Six by Sondheim views the composer’s career through new versions of six of his classic songs, by some pretty great performers Dec13.MarvinHamlishincluding Audra McDonald and Darren Criss…PBS gave us Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, a view of the artist whose life was totally devoted to music. Did you know he auditioned for Juilliard when he was 6?…And our fave doc of the year, 20 Feet From Stardom, an admiring ode to the never to be ever forgotten back-up singers, is on the shortlist for an Oscar.

GOOD BOOKS

Dec13.TheInterestingsMeg Wolitzer’s The Interestings resonates for all of us who went to a performing arts camp or school because it was part of our DNA and it would lead to our life’s passion and lifelong friends…The young protagonist of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch has a lot on his plate. His level-headedness and plain-spokenness keeps you riveted in his journey…In Johnny Cash: The Life, Robert Hilburn’s portrait tallies with what Bob Dylan said of Cash, “if we want to know what it means to be mortal, we need look no further than the Man in Black.”Beatles vs. Stones by historian John McMillan makes the case for each…And Mark Lewisohn’s first volume of his Beatles trilogy All These Years, Tune In, arrived in a glorious (almost) 1,000-page package. He tracks their beginnings up to December 31, 1962. Make room on your shelf.

WE CAN HELP

Dec13.ASPCA.mug.1

The ASPCA Adoption Center does good work. Each precious dog has a bed, blanket, toys, and coat. Each is cleaned, evaluated, and cared for. Cats, too. The ASPCA Love is a Treat mug is a great way to show your love, while making a meaningful purchase. Donate to ASPCA.

LAST WORDS

Change is hard. Everyone agrees this is so. This year brought each of us changes that were expected and unexpected, welcome and unwelcome. We adapt to some. Others we struggle through. Hope gives us the strength to persevere. Friends and colleagues provide inspiration…“Strange fascination, fascinating me, Ah changes are taking the pace I’m going through. Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes.”…Here’s to changes. And here’s to welcoming them…Cheers to a happy peaceful new year.

Dec13.DavidBowieChangesSoundtrack to this Issue is David Bowie’s Changes

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

Sources:
Marvin Hamlisch pic: PBS American Masters
Changes lyrics: words and music by David Bowie (EMI Music Publishing)

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